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Solar Advocates Call on Orlando Leaders to Support a Fair Energy System

Nearly 70 solar advocates assembled at the OUC Commission meeting on November 9th to support consumer-friendly policies that would allow Floridians to invest in rooftop solar as an affordable, clean energy solution. Residential utility customers, small businesses, and solar workers joined together to urge Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and OUC Commissioners to support solar growth by continuing net metering. Net metering is a policy that ensures solar owners earn fair credit for the excess electricity they generate.

Florida’s monopoly utilities have repeatedly attacked rooftop solar consumers and energy freedom. Utilities have launched this attack to maintain their monopoly in the face of growing rooftop solar adoption. Self-serving utilities oppose decentralized ownership and want to maintain complete control over solar and new energy sources. Mayor Dyer has often followed the wishes of corporate interests and big business.

“Despite promises from monopoly utilities, energy bills continue to rise and Florida’s families continue to pay the price,” said Heaven Campbell, State Director of Solar United Neighbors of Florida. “Solar has become an affordable solution for all Floridians. Prices have fallen 36% over the last five years. Net metering lowers the costs for all electric customers by making the grid more efficient. Mayor Dyer and OUC Commissioners must stand up against monopoly utilities and serve as our champion to protect rooftop solar.”

The group is using an online petition to continue urging Mayor Dyer and OUC Commissioners to maintain net metering for Orlando’s solar customers.

“Today’s turnout made it clear that Floridians won’t let a misinformation campaign against net metering undermine local jobs, grid resilience, and economic development,” Katie Chiles Ottenweller, Southeast Director of Vote Solar, said about the meeting earlier this month. “We’re calling on Mayor Dyer to listen to the voices of the community he serves and protect the right of Orlando residents to control their own energy.”

“Florida is one the leading states for solar industry growth,” said Justin Vandenbroeck, President of Florida Solar Energy Industries Association. “If net metering is eliminated, over 400 solar companies in the state would suffer and the nearly 40,500 Florida jobs supported by the rooftop solar industry would be put in jeopardy. I hope Mayor Dyer and OUC Commissioners make the right decision to keep the lights on for Florida’s solar businesses.”

“As a small business owner, I’m tired of navigating government mandates that make my industry less competitive,” said Pete Rosen, Founder and CEO of ProSolar Systems. “Net metering policies will keep Florida’s solar industry on track for its projected growth to add 12,045.57 MW over the next five years. If Mayor Dyer and OUC Commissioners allow monopoly utilities to stifle rooftop solar by eliminating consumer-friendly net metering policies, my entire livelihood and my employees are at risk to lose it all.”

For more information, visit solarunitedneighbors.org/ouc.

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